Toilet Spiders Deemed Hoax
Here we go again. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler have been inundated as of late with reports of poisonous spiders biting people, as they sit on the toilet of all places, resulting in your eventual death.
Here Is The Claim
NEW POISONOUS SPIDER IN THE UNITED STATES
A spider bite…please read………… And you thought the brown recluse was bad!
Three women in North Florida, turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death. There were no outward signs of trauma.
Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same Restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths. The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.
The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.
That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider.
The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider’s venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.
It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country. So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!
And please pass this on to everyone you care about.
Just A Hoax
Wikipedia and other credible online sources have debunked the claim of toilet spiders biting restaurant patrons; stating the stories are fictitious. Although some spiders do prefer cool dark places, the harsh chemicals used to clean the toilet would likely deter any spider from making a toilet it’s home. No such story of a Two-Stripped Telamonia biting rear ends has ever occurred. The story is considered an urban legend.
The Real Two-Striped Telamonia Spider
The two-striped jumper (Telamonia dimidiate), is a jumping spider found in various Asian tropical rain forests. They are common in wooded environments in India, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bhutan. They do not live in North Florida Olive Garden restaurants.
The Two-Striped Telamonia Spider ranges in size from 8-11 millimeters. Females are a light yellow, with a white stripe down her middle. She also has a red ring around her legs. The male is very dark, with white markings, and red hairs around the eyes. The venom of this species is not medically significant.